via San Calocero, 3
Wicky Pryan looks at you with those vivid eyes that ooze intelligence and passion, and explains the two hours that changed his life. He could have become an Ayurvedic doctor, the family tradition for the past 800 years (!). In Sri Lanka, the Pryan, an illustrious and well-known clan, pass on their job from father to son. He wanted to become a detective – he graduated in Criminology at the University of Colombo – or a member of the diplomatic corps – which he was for some time, having the necessary connections – or else teach martial arts, the great passion that brought him to Japan when he was 22.
None of this. Scene: Tokyo, a non-specified morning, 18 years ago. A table. At one end, there’s Kan, a giant in the preparation of sushi. At the other, there’s a nervous Wicky: he has looked for and desired this meeting, and has obtained two hours – it’s his chance, and he doesn’t want to miss it. On the table, there’s a big fish. «Cut it». As commanded. Wicky admits: «I did my best, but the resulting cut wasn’t perfect. Kan, however, promoted me. He noticed my strong sense of discipline. And he found that I’m a... polite person». After all «my heart, my culture and my spirit are more Japanese than those of the Japanese people themselves». Could he fail only because the stork had put him on the wrong island, 6,851 km away? Pryan became the one and only foreign pupil in that school, he learnt the refinements of Kyoto’s cuisine – the most illustrious – and then the ancient techniques, reserved for few experts, such as that of kaneki. His dream came true: forget the Ayurvedic doctor, he’s now a chef. After all, it was he that, at the age of five and with as many brothers, was helping his mother – an excellent cook – to prepare the food, in the house in Gampaha.
However, there’s little of Ceylon in his dishes, now, at his Wicky's Wicuisine Seafood in Milan, opened little over a year ago. Of course, there’s Asia. In fact, there’s the world: Pryan has travelled far and wide, in Brazil, Africa, he has worked in the kitchens of the Four Seasons in Bali... Two marks dominate, though: the Japanese one, obviously, and the Mediterranean, which he’s making more and more personal. These two blend in a harmonic way, but don’t call it fusion cuisine, please! It upsets him, not due to arrogance, but pride. So let’s call it wicuisine, as he prefers to mark his personal style. And if you ask him how he would define it, he parades two words: «Respect and culture». And spices. And balance.
Born in Sri Lanka in 1970, Pryan has been in Italy for the past 7 years. Before then, he worked his way up in Tokyo, under the aegis of his master Kan, then came his first chef assignment, at the Four Seasons in Bali, in 2000. Once in Milan, he spent six months at Nobu, then at Zero Contemporary Food and since November 2011 he’s at his own Wicky's
journalist born in 1974, for many years he has covered politics, mostly, and food in his free time. Today he does exactly the opposite and this makes him very happy. As soon as he can, he dives into travels and good food. Identità Golose's editor in chief
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From Sri Lanka, a graduate in Criminology from Colombo University, he’s passionate about martial arts (the katana hanging in one of the rooms is his own) which when he was young led him to travel to Japan. Wicky Priyan opened his restaurant at the end of 2011 and soon conquered a rich number of passionate and faithful fans, who couldn’t wait to sit once again at one of his tables
A photo taken during the first edition of the Milano Food & Wine Festival. The second edition will take place from Saturday 9th to Monday 11th February 2013 at the MiCo in via Gattamelata: over 400 wines from 150 wine producers, dozens of chefs, pastry-chefs, pizza-makers in a very tasty programme. Tickets can be bought online on Ticket One or in person, on location, in the 3 days of the event